Letters: Beach car parking charges will drive the visitors away
So the newly elected East Lothian administration proposes to introduce beach car parking charges (News, June 21). One reason for the defeat of East Lothian Labour in the 2007 elections was the proposal to introduce beach car parking charges.
I was elected in Dunbar and East Linton ward as were a number of my Lib Dem and SNP candidates on a mandate to oppose the charges.
It was clear that locals and visitors alike would not want to pay the charge proposed at that time.
Monies raised can only be spent on coastal improvements. Thus if sufficient funds are not raised, how will the new administration continue the programme of improvements begun by the old?
There are also concerns that charging will mean that as well as some visitors going elsewhere, others will park in the nearest free spot, for example on residential streets around Belhaven, rather than pay £2.
Charging will also affect local tourism and activities. Why pay to surf at John Muir Country Park when you can go to Cove for free?
I urge councillors to vote against this proposal if they value the continued role for tourism in East Lothian and its coastal economy.
Jacquie Bell, Belhaven
Fees will help to protect wildlife
I AM all for a car park charge at popular beach areas and especially where there are important bird sanctuaries along our coastline. Many visitors from abroad come to the east coast sanctuaries which have rare plants and many species of migrating seabirds.
Many of the visitors use cars and that means parking spaces will be required, but that also means cost of maintenance and damage to the local environment which could lead to disturbance of seashore wildlife, so protection barriers have to be maintained. This costs money and one way to fund it is to operate a car parking fee as an environmental charge.
Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marishcal Road, Edinburgh
Poll support is gust the ticket
I HAVE to respond to the article regarding our proposals for a wind farm at Fauch Hill (“Wind farm bid suffers blow”, News, June 25). It is undoubtedly a blow that council officers recommended that West Lothian Council object to our proposals for a wind farm. However, I am disappointed that the News chose to ignore the massive community support achieved in two separate independent polls of the local community in the area.
Kirknewton Community Council secured support of more than 60 per cent in its own poll and, because there was no similar poll in the area of the West Calder and Harburn area, we decided to commission the same company to carry out a separate poll there. The result was again impressive in that 58 per cent of residents supported our proposals, and opposition was measured in single figures.
I appreciate that public support is only one factor in the consideration of wind farm applications, but such levels of public support for wind farm applications are rare, if not unique in Scotland. We also had strong support from Kirknewton Community Council, West Lothian College and the Chamber of Commerce.
It is disheartening that our proposals for £200 million of investment (£58m direct in West Lothian) did not get the council’s support, and that West Lothian may not now make a strategic contribution to the renewable revolution.
However, whilst we may debate the views of the various interest groups on the proposals, the fact that ordinary residents – when they were asked – gave the proposals strong support remains unchallenged and unchallengeable.
Debbie Chawner, Fauch Hill Sustainable Energy Ltd, Great King Street, Edinburgh
This green folly must be repealed
THE United Nations conference on sustainable development has thankfully ended.
This has just been talking shops with taxpayers’ euros, pounds and other currency wasted.
Britain was the only country in the world stupid enough to pass a law legally binding the UK to reduce its emission targets by 80 per cent by 2050.
The UK is now burdened with a crippling bill of £18 billion every year.
This green folly must be repealed.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west